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Victory For Transgender Health Care

By Charlotte Robinson, May 14, 2024

With over half of U.S. states passing bills threatening transgender rights the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has issued a decision upholding the lower court’s ruling that the Houston County, Georgia Sheriff’s Office violated federal anti-discrimination law when it denied coverage for transgender health care to Sergeant Anna Lange. The historic victory is the first decision by a federal appellate court affirming that it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against transgender people in an employee health plan. The ruling is immediately binding for employers in Georgia, Florida, & Alabama. Gabriel Arkles Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) Co-Interim Legal Director stated, “Today, the Eleventh Circuit upheld the well-reasoned ruling of the U.S. District Court that treating Sergeant Anna Lange differently because she is transgender is discriminatory. Houston County & Sheriff Talton have once again lost in court, after spending some two million dollars on lawyers to try to deprive Sergeant Lange of medically necessary care that costs orders of magnitude less solely to discriminate against transgender people.” Plaintiff Anna Lange concluded, “Today’s victory is a win not just for me, but for all transgender Southerners who deserve equal access to life-saving transition-related care. I have proudly served my community for decades & it has been deeply painful to have the county fight tooth & nail redirecting valuable resources toward denying me basic health care – health care that the courts & a jury of my peers have already agreed I deserve. I’m pleased to see that yet another court has deemed those efforts to be unfair and illegal.” 

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